Disadvantages of Citizenship?

sab15

Registered
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
90
Likes
8
Hi All,

I'm new to this forum. Next year I'd like to go to Argentina for an extended stay, like maybe 6 months to a year. My primary goals are to improve my Spanish, learn about the culture, and just have the experience of living abroad in my father's native country. I'm not sure how things will turn out, but perhaps I will also want to work there, maybe I’ll fall in love and want to stay for a much longer stay, who knows. Therefore, since my dad is Argentine, I've decided to start the citizenship process. I've been all excited about it for the last several weeks, slowly getting all my docs together and recently have received his birth certificate from Argentina. My next step is to have his name corrected on my birth certificate so it matches his name on his birth certificate. Anyways...this is all leading up to the reason for my post.

I was referred to a translator and I called her today. I started asking her about her fee, where she was located, etc... She asked me why I needed this, and I told her I wanted to get Argentine citizenship. Her reaction was one of complete astonishment - “You want Argentine citizenship!!!! Why would you want that?” She seemed to go into some emotional tirade of warning me about it with comments like “You should be careful” “I’m warning you” “It’s dangerous” “You will not be able to get help from the US Embassy” “You should consult a lawyer”. And more. I said, “Well it’s been a long time and things have changed”. She said, “Well not completely”. All of this very negative energy. It was very disturbing, brought me down, and really took me off my high of achieving my goal. She began to explain how she lived there during the dirty war and she was a teacher and she had to leave the country and her property was confiscated, 1,300 teachers were killed, etc… She herself was not Argentine, by the way. But, she had lived there for 16 years and came to the US in the 70’s.

From all of that I could then understand why she was so down on getting the citizenship. She had all these horrible memories of the country. She obviously was traumatized. Anyway, this did give me pause about what I am doing. So, it basically led me to a few questions about the DISDAVANTAGES of becoming an Argentine citizen. I’ve read some of the posts about citizenship, but maybe just haven’t found it yet. So, here are my specific questions:

(1) So what is the deal anyway if I enter Argentina as a citizen and God forbid I am involved in some legal difficulty where I am imprisoned (of course I would be innocent :)) or who knows what? Could the US Embassy help me at all?

(2) What’s the deal with taxes, really? Do I really have to pay Argentina and the US on my US income after I return. I can’t imagine that. Then I’d be paying like 60% - 70% taxes. That doesn’t seem to make sense. Isn’t there some time-of-residency-during-the-year law regarding taxes? Or, exemption if you pay your taxes to the US. I don’t remember my father ever mentioning paying taxes to Argentina or getting letters from the Argentine IRS. Perhaps I have to file a tax return as a matter of protocol, but just don’t have to pay?

If the answers to those 2 points above are very negative, then I guess those would certainly be disadvantages.

Are there other disadvantages that I should know about?

Lastly, I’ve also thought of Permanent Residency. Might that actually be a better option? i.e. could the US Embassy still help me and I wouldn’t have to think at all about Argentine taxes?

Are there any other advantages of Permanent Residency over Citizenship, or vice versa?

I have read another thread on Permanent Residency, but it doesn’t seem to answer my questions above.

Thanks all in advance for any feedback. I’m going to have to make this decision within the next several weeks, and I don’t want to make a decision that I will regret.

sab15
 

steveinbsas

Registered
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
9,877
Likes
5,917
Short answer: you are not eligible for permanent residency because one of your parents is Argentine...only citizenship.

As far as I understand, if you have dual citizenship, the US Embassy cannot help you in Argentina (but could in other countries).

I don't think the US has a tax treaty with Argentina. If that's true they don't "share" your financial data.

If you were born outside of Argentina and are only coming for six months to a year just come as a tourist!

If you decide to stay, then you can assert your rights a a citizen.

If you were born in Argentina and this is indicated on your passport, a different set of rules will apply.

(You will only be granted a 60 day tourist visa and if you overstay you may have to get an Argentine passport before you are "allowed" to leave.)
 

tez

Registered
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
290
Likes
79
steveinbsas said:
You will only be granted a 60 day tourist visa...
60?? You mean 90, right? I haven't been on the forum for a while, has something changed?!
 

davonz

Registered
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
715
Likes
219
If it was me i would get the arg citizenship..

The only way you are going to get into the tax system here is to get a job, start a business or something similar.. So if you are just coming for a holiday, use your Arg passport to get into the country and save US$140 (or what ever it is). I dont think you will even be classed as a resident until you have been here for a while - usually it is 6 months and 1 day in a year.

And as for arg tax man finding out what your income is from overseas - HOW ?
 

French jurist

Registered
Joined
Feb 5, 2010
Messages
4,250
Likes
3,391
One the main disadvantages of AR citizenship, as it was wisely underlined once by one of the members here, is to have eventually to fight our British friends if the Malvinas conflict makes it to the headlines someday.

Citizenship doesn't give only rights, but also duties.
 

ndcj

Registered
Joined
Jul 26, 2010
Messages
309
Likes
191
tez said:
60?? You mean 90, right? I haven't been on the forum for a while, has something changed?!

He's talking about "returning Argentine" tourist visas, which are for people who were born here, but are not traveling on an Argentine passport. Most of the time they give you 180 days, rather than 60, though, and they write "ARG" undernearth the tourist stamp. If you leave after the time allowed, you have to do so on an Argentine passport.

One small correction to what was said above, you do have the option of permanent residency rather than citizenship even if you qualify for citizenship "por opcion". Argentina doesn't consider you it's citizen until you exercise the option. It's a waste though, because there's really no great reason to not get citizenship.

You can do the ciudania por opcion through the registro civil, or any consulate, or directly in tribunales. Tribunales is apparently quicker, and you can ask the judge for a piece of paper that saves you the hassle of paying any overstay fines etc while it's in tramite.
 

citygirl

Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
3,929
Likes
3,147
1) If you are an Argentine citizen and you have issues in Argentina, the US Embassy will not be able to assist in any way.
2) There is no tax treaty between the US and Argentina. So in theory, yes, there could be taxation issues since both ARgentina and the US tax citizens on worldwide income. However, if you are outside of the US for more that 320 days (ie in Argentina), you can claim a foreign tax exemption for any income. However you do have to file US tax returns every year, even if you are living in Argentina and are exempt. And yes, Argentina technically taxes its citizens on worldwide income as well so if you're living in the US, you should file taxes in Argentina although pretty much no one does - not to condone the practice.
 

ndcj

Registered
Joined
Jul 26, 2010
Messages
309
Likes
191
citygirl said:
And yes, Argentina technically taxes its citizens on worldwide income as well so if you're living in the US, you should file taxes in Argentina although pretty much no one does - not to condone the practice.

No, Argentina taxes its residents on worldwide income, and non-residents on Argentine-source income. Unlike the US, citizenship isn't a factor.

Keep in mind, even if you're here on a tourist visa, or no visa at all, you may still be an Argentine resident for tax purposes, and be required to file and pay taxes on your worldwide income. Whether they ever find you or not is a different question.
 

citygirl

Registered
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Messages
3,929
Likes
3,147
Not sure I'm following. Are you saying citizens of Arg are not responsible for paying tax WW income? Or are you saying citizens AND residents? (ie, the OP would have the tax issues either way? True and good point of clarification, my response was in regards to being a citizen, since I don't believe OP can be a resident as child of an Argentine citizen). My friend is an argentine citizen and pays tax on her worldwide income (even though she lives outside of Arg) as she has to have a blanco record of her income when bringing money into Arg to buy a house.
 

ndcj

Registered
Joined
Jul 26, 2010
Messages
309
Likes
191
citygirl said:
Not sure I'm following. Are you saying citizens of Arg are not responsible for paying tax WW income? Or are you saying citizens AND residents? (ie, the OP would have the tax issues either way? True and good point of clarification, my response was in regards to being a citizen, since I don't believe OP can be a resident as child of an Argentine citizen). My friend is an argentine citizen and pays tax on her worldwide income (even though she lives outside of Arg) as she has to have a blanco record of her income when bringing money into Arg to buy a house.

Taxation in Argentina is based only on residence and income source.

If you're an Argentine tax resident you must pay Argentine taxes on your worldwide income and assets. Basically, you are an Argentine resident for tax purposes when you spend six months and one day in any given year in Argentina. It doesn't matter what your immigration or citizenship status is at all.

This means that, legally, you should be paying impuestos a los bienes personales on your assets anywhere in the world, including any real estate or investments owned outside Argentina if you exceed the threshold (ARS 305.000).

If you're not an Argentine tax resident, you must pay Argentine taxes on your Argentine-sourced income and all Argentine assets. You pay impuestos a los bienes personales with no threshold (starting from ARS0,00) on your Argentine assets. You don't need to pay tax in Argentina on any foreign sourced income or foreign assets while you are not a resident of Argentina for tax purposes. Again, it doesn't matter what your immigration or citizenship status is.

Regarding the (completely separate) immigration situation -- as the child of an Argentine citizen you can opt for citizenship or use the same paperwork to apply for permanent residency instead if you choose not to become a citizen. It's cheaper to opt for citizenship (no fee, just the cost of getting the documents together) and guaranteed to never be taken away or lost, and also passes on the right of citizenship to your children.
 
Top